CFP Conferences

CFP for CAALS 2024 Virtual Conference

We invite submissions for two panels at the upcoming CAALS Virtual Conference on June 7-8, 2024.

Asian American Mass Culture

Today, it feels like Asian America is at a turning point. Asian Americans appear to be represented in an ever-expanding range of U.S. popular culture. No longer confined to niche subcultures or enclaves, they now find institutional access and representational visibility in the most prominent realms of mass culture, including Hollywood, television, music, streaming media, social media, the food industry, and the arts, making Asian America appear to saturate American life. They are winning or being nominated for Emmys, Oscars, Academy Awards, Grammys, Michelin Stars, James Beard Foundation Awards, and Streamer Awards. With these representational shifts across media spheres, Asian Americans have more power to tell emotionally rich narratives that expand and enhance the affective range of Asian American life. The story of Asian America today is thus a story of what happens when a minoritized group reaches a critical mass.

This CAALS panel CFP approaches these cultural developments as emblematic of what can be called Asian American Mass Culture. Asian American Mass Culture describes not only a discursive framework that engages the ways that Asian Americans within the U.S. are influencing the social, economic, and political structures that construct culture, as well as how developments in U.S. popular cultural systems are influencing the construction of Asian Americanness, but it also describes a method for theorizing the ontological developments of Asian America alongside its epistemological developments. Possible topics could include:

  • How do the changing terrains of Asian Americans’ representational visibility across popular culture (music, film, television, digital culture, etc.) alter how we think about race and ethnicity?
  • What role(s) do Asian American stars and/or celebrities play vis a vis the broader Asian American community?
  • What institutional mechanisms emerge or become systematized to manage their access to different spaces in popular culture?
  • What role does culture play in the continual transformation of Asian America as an expansive global presence?
  • What does Asian American Mass Culture look like, and who gets to decide? What is its cultural zeitgeist?
  • What does the next century of Asian American cultural production look like? Or are there ways or methods through which we can think about the future of Asian America?
  • What critical relationships exist between an Asian American Mass Culture and American mass culture?
  • How does the condensation of time, as a result of the instantaneous circulation of digital cultures in the media and platform economies, complicate the ways in which we delineate generational difference in Asian American culture? What does generational difference mean or look like now?
  • What role do platforms and platform cultures play in the circulation of Asian America globally? How is Asian America received, transformed, and reimagined during these circulations?

Please send abstracts (max. 250 words), as well as any questions, to Leland Tabares ( and Timothy K. August ( by May 17, 2024. Include position and name of institution (if any) in the submission.

Writing an Asian American Literary Studies Dissertation

This panel invites submissions from graduate students who are currently writing dissertations in the fields of Asian American and diasporic literary studies. We seek short talks of ten minutes each from graduate students about the challenges of producing a research topic, drafting their dissertations, and revising their projects.

Our goal is to provide a collaborative forum for graduate student writers to share and reflect with each other about their experiences of writing an Asian American literary studies dissertation.

Speakers might reflect on questions including, but not limited to, the following:

  • How do you manage your time as a graduate student between writing, teaching, and working?
  • How was the process of forming your dissertation committee?
  • Are you at a predominantly white institution or an institution that may not have a robust amount of support for Asian American literary studies? If so, what challenges are you experiencing and how do you navigate them?
  • Is your project taking on new and innovative methods, forms, or genres in Asian American literary studies? For example, what does the process of producing a critical-creative, genre-bending, multimodal, or public-facing project look like?
  • How do you write a dissertation that is legible to the academic job market?
  • Do you have any tips or strategies for other graduate students on writing a dissertation in Asian American and diasporic literary studies?

Please send informal abstracts (max. 250 words), as well as any questions, to Karen Siu ( and Timothy K. August ( by May 17, 2024. Include year in program and name of institution in submission.